The State of Florida, in the murder trial of Casey Anthony, rested today.
They rested after bringing forward a very strong case – delivering a concise argument that meticulously and tightly binds Casey Anthony to the murder.
Understandably, the State did not use all the evidence in its arsenal. Perhaps they were concerned about overdoing their case in chief and so decided to wait until their rebuttal to introduce additional evidence. Forgive the pun, but I’m sure the State was concerned with “over-kill” with regards to the plethora of evidence they have.
Denied Motion for Acquittal
The rules of criminal procedure in Florida require a defense lawyer to submit a motion to argue its position for a judicial decision of acquittal. This is a standard practice in all criminal trials, and are rarely ever granted to a defendant.
The fact is, when a judge decides and rules in these matters, his or her explanation and reasoning for such a motion generally is a good indication as to what the outcome of the trial will be.
Today Mr. Cheney Mason argued the motion in front of Judge Belvin Perry, Jr.
Mason told the Court, there was no premeditation in this case. He said, there were inferences and speculation of it, but no evidence whatsoever of premeditation.
I beg to differ.
Mason also stated that there is no evidence of the defendant causing any pain or injury to Caylee Anthony. In fact, he says, there were many witnesses who were happy to attest to Casey Anthony’s success as a mother.
Mason argues that Caylee Marie Anthony died accidentally since the State did not prove that a homicide existed.
The Judge asked Mason where in the record is there evidence of “accidental death” and Mason admits THERE IS NONE!
Mr. Mason claims the mere presence of duct tape proves nothing – no evidence of anything, he says, raising his voice.
No evidence of culpable negligence, he says. And of course Mason brought up the Miranda Rights aspect of the case, which was previously argued repeatedly by the Court in pre-trial hearings. Mason wanted this on the record yet again. He obviously believes strongly that Casey Anthony’s rights were violated with regards the Court’s decision on these issues.
Mason grew increasingly agitated and demonstrative as his argument continued, and occasionally there was a fleeting glimpse of the good lawyer he once was. But, it was very clear that he simply was not listening to the testimony these last three weeks.
And, during some moments of his argument, things seemed to fall apart and Mr. Mason resorted to histrionics.
Listening to Mason today, it sprang to mind that if he were an actor, he’d make a very good King Lear.
The aged Lear, who attempts to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, eventually goes mad. He rages against storms, and descends into madness.
Lear bellows: “Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!”
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o’ the world!
Anyway, that’s where my mind was when I listened to Cheney Mason – casting him as the perfect Lear.
And so, the other big news today revealed that the defense wants to depose and possibly call to testify a convicted felon named, Vasco Thompson. The defense is inexplicably suggesting today that on July 14, 2008, George Anthony made four calls to this man, who was previously convicted for a violent crime – kidnapping to be exact.
The defense has not deposed this person as yet, and George Anthony, through his attorney Mark Lippman, is denying any knowledge of this man.
Can this defense get any more desperate? Are they changing strategy now? Since Judge Perry told the defense there is no evidence of an accident scenario, are they dropping the drowning, in favor of kidnapping?
And, why Vasco Thompson? Is this suddenly a Susan Smith kind of excuse? Blame it on a mean-looking black man? If anyone had a connection with this man, my guess it was Casey Anthony. Was she looking for a hit-man?
The motion about this new prospective witness, Vasco Thompson, reinforces my belief that Mr. Mason is well cast as King Lear.
Crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow!
p.s. Vasco Thompson has not returned calls from the defense team.
The second day of testimony, in the State v. Casey Anthony, was certainly less dramatic than the abuse and murder allegations made against George Anthony during yesterday’s defense opening statements.
The State scheduled a virtual parade of witnesses, and as they did yesterday, they are methodical in building their case.
There were a couple of wins for the defense today, too. However, in the grand scheme of things, it won’t count for much. The wins I am referring to are the fact that one of the witnesses today recalled riding in Casey’s car in mid June, after Caylee was deceased, and didn’t notice any odor in the car.
Witnesses testifying today all said Casey was an attentive and loving mother whenever they’d seen her with Caylee. Although one witness, Maria Kissh, discussed that little Caylee seemed unsupervised when she was visiting Tony Lazzarro’s apartment, for the most part, the theme seemed to be “good mom.”
The witnesses included Tony Lazzaro, his roommates, plus one of one the roommates girlfriends, Maria Kissh; we heard from the Fusion Night Club “shot girls” today, and George and Cindy’s neighbor, Brian Burner from whom Casey borrowed the shovel. He testified to the two times Casey backed into the garage in her parents home, something Brian Burner had never seen anyone do in that family.
Baez asked Mr. Burner: Are you something of a nosy neighbor?
It appeared as if the defense was all over the place today. When Baez had the opportunity to cross examine Tony, he asked the most inane questions with regards to Casey’s purchases at all the stores the two of them went to.
He asked Lazzarro over and over: Did Casey purchase a gun at these locations? Did she purchase a knife, or other weapons? Did she purchase chloroform?!! It was a seriously stupid line of questioning! Lazzarro seemed to be incredulous, too.
It was interesting to see Tony Lazzarro on the stand! He’s a nice-looking young man; he handled himself quite well, too. He’s on the stand again, tomorrow, 9:00 a.m.
Jose Baez, we learned today, is trying his damnedest to get testimony from Casey into the trial without her taking the stand. It will not work! Today, his slimy attempt was to ask Tony, Did Casey tell you about any abuse by her father?
The fact is, for any evidence of abuse, sexual or otherwise, that happened to Casey, she will have to testify about it to get it on the record. There is no other way around it.
This case, that the whole country is watching with interest, is a laughing stock already with regards to the defense team’s conduct.
Baez, in my opinion, has already lost credibility with the jury. He is messing up, asking stupid questions, and his opening statements do not jive in the least with what the witnesses are testifying to. For instance, in the opening, Baez says, Casey came around the corner of the patio and saw George with a deceased Caylee in his arms. Right? So then, according to Baez, Casey immediately began to cry profusely – she was a total mess as a result of the “accidental drowning,” is what Baez would like us to believe.
It’s not going to fly. Because, if this is true, how then did Casey go to Blockbuster that very evening, rent two movies with Tony, sleep with him, and then spend the next day in bed with him, never once crying or seeming sad? Furthermore, every witness today, one by one, portrayed Casey as fun, outgoing, never sad, just herself, etc.
How can this be? How does a loving, caring mother show no emotion after the death of her own flesh and blood? The jury will never believe it.
Also, how does Casey leave her daughter with her father if he is a sexual abuser? The fact is, she would NOT have done this! Allowing one’s child to be exposed to the same abuse you suffered is not at all characteristic of an abuse victim.
Surely the State will have testimony to support this.
I thought it was interesting to learn that Tony Lazzarro did not give Casey permission to use his Jeep while he was away, in New York. It’s not surprising, just interesting and another example of her disregard for anyone other than herself.
Also, we learned that Casey took it upon herself to “manage” the Fusion “shot-girls,” it was not an official job or responsibility given to her, but she was caring and protective of the shot girls. How about that for a dichotomy! She’s busy drinking, dancing, and protecting these shot-girls like their mother, yet as a mother, she can’t cry for her own deceased daughter?
In other happenings today, we saw a terrible display of rage this morning when Baez, walking down the street to the courthouse, was bumped into by a camera man. Baez’ response? “What the fuck,” he screamed, slamming his briefcase to the pavement. Like a little boy on the playground.
Here’s the link: http://www.wftv.com/video/28018147/index.html
This is not the behavior of a confident lawyer.
I have said it before and I will say it again, based on the performance of Baez in that courtroom, if Casey is sentenced to die, it is Baez who delivered her.
The defense “story” makes no sense whatsoever, and the defense is no match for the State of Florida, this is abundantly clear.
As Shakespeare wrote, in Macbeth, the defense’s case “…is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
Though tomorrow is not where the journey begins – it began on June 16, 2008, the day Caylee died – it feels like it’s going to be a new journey, doesn’t it?
Here we are, on the eve of the first day of the Casey Anthony trial, and the Defense team is readying their ammo, polishing their guns in hopes their big moment on the stage is not “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” (Shakespeare, Macbeth)
These words are uttered by the character Macbeth after hearing of his wife’s death. He is in despair and speaks as if life means nothing – it is a petty show with bad actors, he says.
Macbeth goes on to say how easily life can be snuffed out, like a candle, leaving not even a shadow behind.
Macbeth’s monologue came to me this evening as I was thinking of what the defense team could possibly come up with in their opening statement. They are going to have to fill the courtroom with a sound and a fury that signifies SOMETHING.
What will they pretend happened to Caylee?
Jose Baez is so sure we’ll be shocked when we hear the reasoning behind what happened. Everything will be understood then, he told us. The mystery will be solved.
BUT… there’s a small problem… Casey will have to testify!
Casey cannot testify. It would be suicide. Her performance will be the tale told by an idiot because the State would rip her apart so easily, it would be child’s play.
Some legal pundits say Casey will take the stand; it’s her only hope, they say. I say, no way, unless the case is going so badly for the defense that is the final Hail-Mary.
We will know soon enough what tale they will tell….
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Doesn’t Shakespeare seem to be talking about the bombast of the Defense in this case?
The quote is meant to portray what happens in a badly staged play with melodramatic, bombastic actors who are so bad they beg to be forgotten.
If some events in life are like a bad play, so too is a liar in a court of law.
So many of us have been glued to the events in this case. We are desperate for the truth to be known, desperate that a child’s death is avenged, desperate to know if the defense has any legitimacy in what they will say happened to Caylee.
Though the defense will tell us there was no homicide, hence no murder, the very fact that a child was placed in trash bags; double-bagged, duct-taped, and thrown in the woods to rot, has to be seen as murder by the jury. We heard these jurors – none of them are stupid!
There are millions of words in our collective lexicon. What words could the defense put together to explain what happened in this case? What possible story-book theory could they possibly write?
Defense Theory One
Will they say it was an accident “that spun out of control” just as George Anthony told River Cruz? If so, the Defense could suggest:
- Casey and Caylee were in the pool when Casey becomes distracted by a phone call. Caylee drowned, Casey panicked.
- Efforts to revive Caylee are unsuccessful; Casey was too in shock to call 911.
- Furthermore, Casey is afraid to tell her parents what happened – especially her father who has abused her and has beat her silly.
- Likewise, Casey is afraid of her mother who tried to choke her the night before the accident happened.
- Casey used kidnapping as an excuse – she saw on TV how to stage a kidnapping, using duct-tape.
- She threw Caylee near the road on Suburban believing that she would eventually be found and kidnapping would be the motive.
- Casey knows how to disassociate trauma and put it aside, not to be thought of again. She disassociated during the 31 days.
- As far as the chloroform? Casey saw the graphic that Ricardo put on his webpage (which suggest a man can get a woman to succumb using chloroform). Casey didn’t know what it meant and Googled what it meant.
- The searches for neck-breaking? Casey suffered a very sore neck and thought a bone in her neck may have been broken.
Casey cared nothing for Caylee; Casey killed Caylee to torture her mother.
To get this accident theory before the jury, Casey would have to testify.
Defense Theory Two
Casey has multiple personalities that have gone undiagnosed all her life. It was not “Casey” who committed the crime, it was another personality.
Within Casey there is a personality who steals, parties, and is a very bad girl.
Oh yes, one personality is a party girl, and there is another one who is a good little girl – obedient and sweet.
Of course, the only way evidence of multiple personalities could be used? A psychologist would have to have diagnosed her as having this condition. However, this information would be discoverable. If the State was not made aware of this, the Defense will not be allowed to use it.
Casey cared nothing for Caylee; Casey killed Caylee to torture her mother.
Defense Theory Three
- There was terrible argument between Casey and Cindy the night before Caylee’s death – Cindy came close to murdering Casey.
- Casey left the home that evening, but returned early, in time to leave “for work.”
- She went to “work” (She lied about “work” because she lost her job and was afraid to tell her abusive parents.)
- Casey left Caylee with George.
- George and Caylee went swimming – (back to the drowning accident scenario in theory number one).
- George tries to revive Caylee, is unsuccessful.
- Casey returns to house, having forgotten something, and sees the scene.
- George threatens to kill or maim or abuse Casey if she reveals what happened to Caylee.
- Casey sacrifices her life for her father. She is so afraid of her murderous father, she would rather do jail time than tell anyone what her dad did to her daughter.
Casey cared nothing for Caylee; Casey killed Caylee to torture her mother.
What ever the story, the tale they tell will be told by an idiot and it will signify nothing.
It’s a really busy Saturday for me…. in fact, I’m late in getting my act together! I have to make a pot of my famous spaghetti sauce – yes, this Irish gal can do Italian! It’s my brother’ Tom’s birthday and I am throwing a party for him!
So, this is a short post as I have to begin my sauce, then run to get a haircut, then run home again as guests are coming at 4:00!
Speaking of birthday’s, today is also William Shakespeare’s birthday!
Happy Birthday, Tom and Will!
It is the eve of what would have been Caylee Anthony’s fourth birthday and still, each time I think about the circus that the case against Casey has become, the figurative stench of the whole affair assaults my senses all over again.
There is such a rotten smell to the whole aspect of this case. (I wonder if Casey, George, and Cindy have gotten the real smell out of their noses yet.) To those of us closely following this case, the sordidness of it stinks to high heaven.
It is my love of Shakespeare that brings me back once again to this theme of comparing the case against Casey to the rotten stench in Hamlet’s Denmark. (Examining this debacle through the lens of Hamlet is ripe with parallels.)
The rancid environment that wafts in, around, and over the Casey Anthony case is like a dirty and damp fog where treachery and murder creep about under a hanging cover of sickly grey mist. This rancid mist hung in Casey’s car, hangs around this case , and settles in the murderer’s footprints off of Suburban Drive.
In the days before she abandoned her car, Casey sent text messages to Amy Huizenga that attempted to explain away the foul odor from her car:
….definitely part of a dead animal [was] plastered to my car…
Trying to explain away the smell clearly points to her need to cover it up. If it were an animal plastered to the car, why not have it removed?
The character of Casey: Only Iago will do.
The plot of Hamlet may not mirror the Anthony case, but the characters and their circumstances are drawn from the same cloth, as I will attempt to illustrate for you. However, in Hamlet, not even Claudius is a evil as Casey, though he did murder his own brother, he seems almost tame compared to a mother who could murder her own daughter. So, I am looking to another one of Shakespeare’s cruel male tyrants to find Casey’s equal.
Iago, the villain in Othello, bears a striking resemblance to Casey. Do you know Iago? He is probably one of Shakespeare’s most evil characters, by far, the sickest and cruelest. He is a master manipulator, like Casey, and is the one responsible for the death of Emilia (Iago’s own wife), Desdemona (Othello’s wife), and Othello (who kills himself as a result of Iago’s deeds).
Iago says of himself: I am not what I am. And to Othello, manipulating him, he says:
O! beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-ey’d monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.
Evil and revenge are part of Iago’s nature. He is a pure sociopath; and like Casey, only thinks of his own needs. He is an apt twin for Casey Anthony.
Now back to the characters in Hamlet, where there are additional mirrors.
The Character of George: Polonius
George Anthony, like the hapless and pompous Polonius, Ophelia’s father, who says to his son, Laertes:
Above all else, to thine own self be true
Sadly, Polonius goes on to dissemble and deceive, ultimately hurting his daughter, Ophelia, his Son, Laertes, and is subsequently, though accidently, murdered by Hamlet.
Lee Anthony: Laertes
Laertes, son of Polonius, like Lee Anthony, is passionate but seeks revenge without knowing the truth. Lee Anthony, according to WESH News, has been granted use immunity which is a common tool used in the law to protect a witness in a criminal trial from inadvertently incriminating his or herself as a result of direct testimony given.
According to WESH News, Thomas Luka, Lee’s attorney, contends that Lee:
Spilled it all and nothing was different.
Time will tell.
Cindy Anthony. Who else but Queen Gertrude
Now, on to Queen Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother. Like Cindy, Queen Gertrude refuses to accept or know the truth, though it stares her smack in the face. The Queen is guilty of ignoring the truth, just as Cindy portrays herself as being above everyone, above all laws, so does the Queen. Gertrude is shallow and selfish. In a famous line, Queen Gretrude says with regards to a character in the play, who is really a parody of the Queen herself:
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
And, one of Hamlet’s most famous lines about his mother, the Queen is:
Frailty, thy name is woman!
Dear Caylee, and gentle Ophelia
On to Ophelia, the only pure heart among the lot of them in Hamlet. Ophelia is Polonius’s daughter, with whom Hamlet has been in love. She is a sweet and innocent young girl who drowns in a river surrounded by the flowers and herbs she loves and has just gathered. Before she dies, Ophelia says to those who love her:
Here’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray, love, remember.
Yes, Caylee. We will remember.
It’s been over a year since we first heard these troubling and frantic words from Cindy Anthony when, on the 911 tapes, she said: “ There’s something wrong, I found my daughter’s car today, it smells like there’s been a dead body in the damn car.”
To me those words have the same eerie feel as: “There is something rotten in the state of Denmark.”
One of the characters in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” was reacting to seeing the ghost of Hamlet’s dead father (who was killed by Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius), when he used the “rotten… Denmark” line. It was his reaction to seeing and hearing the ghost proclaim that Claudius was his murderer. This is what smelled as foul as dead fish in Denmark.
Interesting, don’t you think? Reeks with similarity to me.
I wonder if, in her recent 13 hour long deposition with the State Attorney’s office, Cindy stuck to her story about how that smell was really the ghost of dead pizza left by her beloved daughter? Surely Cindy has figured out, just as the Queen in Hamlet proclaims about the loquacious character in the the skit, (who is really a parody of the Queen herself), that: “The lady doth protest too much, me thinks.” Does Cindy now realize that not a soul buys her “protesting” about the pizza-smell fantasy?
We all know that the Anthony’s, the moment they smelled death, knew that something was indeed rotten, and that Casey was the fishmonger.
With all the madness surrounding the Anthony case, with the tragic circumstances – the frenzy and the hype – this case has become epic in its own right. Not even Shakespeare could write a tale so sordid.
As often happens in Shakespeare, monsters lie and blame others while the truly innocent suffer (think Ophelia and Desdemona and you’ll understand what I mean). And so it goes in this case: Jesse Grund (and others) will be villified – but, methinks it won’t work – nary a chance of it – Jesse is too honest, too good for any juror to believe he has an inkling of blame here.
In a soliloquy, the guilty Claudius speaks his thoughts and tells of killing Hamlet’s father, who is his own brother. He speaks of the foul and rank odor of his own deed when he says:
O, my offense is rank, it smells to heaven,
It hath the primal eldest curse upon’t—
A brother’s murder….”
And later the King, realizing his guilt, admits that not even his thoughts will reach heavan, says:
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.
The “murder most foul” stunk in “Hamlet’s” Denmark, and it stinks to high heavan in Orlando, Florida, too.